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Laguna Breaks Ground in Novela Market

10 Nov, 2007 By: Angelique Flores

Azul Tequila

Laguna Productions has entered the telenovela market with a bang. The company is releasing its novelas unedited.

Other distributors such as Image Entertainment and Xenon Pictures, which has been dominating the market, have been releasing novelas on DVD for some time. However, those programs have been edited to fit on up to four — sometimes double-sided — discs.

“Laguna has always tried to break ground in the Latino market,” said Monica Ricardez, director of business and market development for Laguna Productions. “And although releasing all this content is not common practice in the industry, it is one of those risks we needed to take in order to give our customers more content at a competitive price.”

Laguna released its first novela, Azul Tequila, in June. It was the first title in the market to debut in its entirety, in an unedited format. The eight-disc deluxe package ($24.98) clocked in at 48 hours long.

“The idea of releasing novelas in an uncut format is with the intention of giving the consumer a final product that gives them the satisfaction of reliving the experience at their leisure and with all the details they saw on television,” Ricardez said.

“Como en el Cine” is the second novela that Laguna will release in an unedited format, but it's the first to come as a three-season release. Como en el Cine: Temorada 1 (first season) will street Jan. 8 (prebook Dec. 11). The eight-disc set ($29.95) will come in deluxe packaging and will have 56 hours of the show that aired in the United States on Azteca America.

“Due to the length of the novela, it is almost impossible to release it otherwise, unless we cut more than half of the story,” Ricardez said about releasing the show in seasons. “That is something we want to avoid.”

Laguna did not indicate when the next installments of the show will be available on DVD.

Both novelas include trivia and biographies. And neither have English subtitles.

“At this time, we believe the main consumer of this product will be mostly Spanish-speaking, since the content basically appeals to devoted viewers of the format,” Ricardez said. “On the other hand, if there is enough demand for subtitles, we may consider that for other hit releases with crossover appeal in the near future.”

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